Sizewell emergency centre plans submitted

EDF Energy has submitted a planning application to build an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) for Sizewell B nuclear power station to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The company wants to build the ERC on a brownfield site at the Sizewell B Railhead, on the outskirts of Leiston.

It will house back-up plant and equipment storage and office space associated with EDF Energy's enhanced emergency arrangements.

EDF Energy has designed the building to minimise its visual impact on the nearby landscape, with proposals including putting a green sedum roof on the facility.

Ahead of finalising their plans, EDF Energy held an informal public consultation on the proposals over a three-week period in May. As part of that period, a two-day public exhibition was held at the Sizewell Sports and Social Club.

Almost 100 people attended the exhibition, with 44 people completing a consultation feedback survey on the ERC plans either on the day, via a freepost address or through the EDF website.

The consultation found that over 80 per cent of those that commented agreed that the Railhead site was the best location for the facility. And eight out of 10 respondents also agreed that the design of the ERC would help it to blend in with the surrounding area.

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Other comments included the hope that local labour would be used, where possible, and the need for good hedgerow screening of the building. A report including all the comments and feedback from the public consultation has been included in the planning application.

If approved by the council it is hoped that the facility will be fully operational by the spring of 2014, with construction beginning in late 2012.

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